Lately I've been feeling a little down about this. I feel like I got in way too late in the game and I'll never catch up. I'm 22 and just started my second year at university, and I do well... but I'd like to do better than just well. Mostly I think what's at fault is that I got into math too late; I was 20 when I first picked up an Algebra / Pre-calculus book. A year later I entered university, and even though I'm comfortable enough to get good grades, I feel like I'm still playing "catch up"-- skills that should be as natural to me as + and - are still completely new, so I don't have the time to get a deeper understanding of what I'm learning; because I'm still double checking that I did my factoring right . My biggest fear is to always remain a step behind. The other kids in my class (well, the ones who are good) have been familiar with all of these ideas that are new to me for at least 5 years, if not longer. -- In her blog, Tanya Khovanova comments that at 15, she was told she might be too old to be serious about math http://blog.tanyakhovanova.com/?p=73" ; I certainly can't think of a mathematician or physicist who wasn't doing it since childhood (Fermat maybe?) I feel like just now I'm starting to begin to understand to "think in math", and starting to get a more intuitive understanding of concepts... but it's an uphill battle. I may be 22, but in math years, I'm 2. Am I worrying too much? Will the playing field eventually level out? -- Anyone of you guys start out late or know of anyone who has?